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Suspected bank robber shot by deputies had fake gun, officials say

January 6, 2012 |  8:31 am


This post has been corrected. Please see a note at the bottom for details.

A man who was shot by L.A. County sheriff's deputies in Paramount was holding a fake handgun, authorities said.

He was one of two men who allegedly robbed a bank on Imperial Highway in Placentia, authorities said. Witnesses told police one of the men "simulated a handgun in a bag" but never revealed a firearm, said Sgt. Brad Butts of the Placentia Police Department.

One suspect stood at the door and acted as a lookout. The pair escaped with $3,100 in cash, fleeing in a dark-colored Dodge Charger.

Several Orange County police agencies spotted the getaway cars, and a high-speed car chase began. Officers followed the suspects' vehicle for nearly 30 minutes as the Charger swerved in and out of traffic.

At one point, the suspects abandoned the car near the 8000 block of Denbo Street in Paramount and fled on foot.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department launched an hours-long manhunt that stretched into the evening.

Deputies finally encountered one of the suspects, a 20-year-old man, shortly before 7 p.m, authorities said. 

He was holding what appeared to be a handgun, and when a deputy ordered him to put it down, her refused, authorities said. Instead, he pointed the firearm at the deputy, who shot him, they said. 

The wounded suspect was taken to a hospital, where he was in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries, Butts said.

Deputies recovered the suspect's handgun at the scene found that the weapon was a replica, according to a statement from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. Some cash from the robbery also was recovered, Butts said. 

Authorities were still looking for the second suspect.

Authorities said bank surveillance video may not be helpful because the men were wearing baseball caps and shirts buttoned up to their necks. They also kept their heads tilted down to hide their faces.

The sheriff's department is investigating the circumstances of the shooting, and the captured suspect is expected to be charged with robbery.

[For the record, 9:42 a.m. Jan. 6: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that Sgt. Brad Butts was with the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. Butts is with the Placentia Police Department.]


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